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My Canadian Experience
Report for July to September 2022

I should note that shortly after my last report I did get the second Covid booster shot. And I did cancel my Netflix subscription.

My TV consumption is now mostly just news channels and I now just watch various channels on YouTube.

I have been using the new Taste of Britain store in Chatham.  In particular I purchase Irish pork sausages and sometimes things like Scotch pies, haggis, etc., although the quality of those products is poor in comparison to what you get in Scotland.  I have also not been able to find a decent Pork Pie nor have I found Ox Tongue.  I do now buy small tins of Ox Tongue from the UK, 6 at a time.

I've found it funny that in Scotland every butcher makes their own pies yet none in Canada make them.  Seems peculiar as it would be a new income stream for them.  I also note that the Strawberry crop in Canada is no longer than a month whereas back in the UK it runs for at least 5 months.  Canadian strawberry's are excellent whereas the ones we get from the US are rather hard and tasteless.

I confess that my travels around Canada and other parts of the world have ceased these past couple of years. I am mostly house bound, from choice I might add. I don't even go to the shops much preferring to order online for home delivery but do go to the odd specialty shop for a wee treat.

I do almost all my own cooking but that's partly because the things I like I can cook it much more cheaply than what it costs in a restaurant. Like Butter Chicken curry costs twice as much as it costs to cook it at home. Mind you in Chatham it costs around $17.00 + tips whereas in Toronto it only costs $11.00 + tips but at home it only costs around $7.00 and no tips.

Did I mention that I've paid off my mortgage?  Nola decided that I'd paid her enough money and so called it quits.  So that's $450.00 a month I now save and with the value of the house shooting up I'm in a good position financially even though house prices are now actually falling, down some 5% in the last quarter.  Mind you with interest rates going up not sure that's going to make much difference in getting the younger demographic to buy their first home.  Seems that folk in Canada are currently reducing their spending due to inflation which in July is 6.7% whereas in the UK it's 10.1%.

Canadian Energy Fact Book 2021-2022, by Natural Resources Canada produced a pdf document where you can learn of the strength of Canada's Energy Reserves. Unlike Europe we should not have any issues with scarce supplies.

Queen Elizabeth II died in September at Barmoral in Scotland.  I am working on a page on my web site to record the events leading up to her state funeral. You can get to this page here where I've got our Prime Ministers reaction to the event.

I think King Charles will do a fine job and I've included a few videos showing what he's done in Scotland with Dumfries House and Estate and also his Highgrove home in England.

Mr Poilievre was elected leader of the Conservative party on Saturday after winning it in a landslide first-ballot victory with nearly 70% of the vote from party members.

Pierre Poilievre elected new leader of Conservatives, introduced by his wife

Pierre Poilievre delivers first caucus speech as new Conservative leader

Mr Poilievre, 43, campaigned on a promise to reduce taxes and to tackle inflation and the rising prices of food and petrol, and to increase individual liberties.

Mr Poilievre is the party's third official leader in seven years, raising questions about party unity and the effectiveness of its messaging.

His weekend victory, however, signals a more unified party - he is the first to win leadership by a decisive margin since former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

My handyman (Doug) who does odd jobs for me around the house and mows the lawn has contracted Covid.  He is isolating but what he related was rather disturbing.  He told me that he thinks he contracted it from a local farm where he was working on harvesting corn.

He tried to contact the farm to advise them of this but all he got was the answering machine and they didn't call him back.  He reported this to our local health board but apparently they no longer are interested in hearing about where he contracted it.  This means the farm will be spreading Covid to other workers and they of course will spread this to others.

The farming practices seem rather odd in that they have many old people working for them up to 93 years of age.  This is by no means the first comments I have had about how farms in the area don't seem to care about protecting their workers.  Early in the Covid period I'd heard how many farmers cancelled trips by health care workers who were checking that workers were being protected.  There seemed to be no penalties to be born by not letting health care workers do audits and I've been told that living accommodations on many farms were below minimum standards.

We had a bad storm with high winds and as a result a major limb on one of my trees came down on my roof.  No real damage but it obviously had to be removed which cost me $850.  It only occurred to me later that I could have claimed for that on my home insurance.

The war in Ukraine is still filling the news channels.  Canada has been very supportive of Ukraine and the most recent news is that Russia has seen some serious reversals and have lost a lot of ground in recent days where Ukraine has retaken many towns and villages.

It does appear that Canada and European countries other than the UK are very low on weapons and military equipment due mostly to them not using the NATO requirement of investing at least 2% on national defense.

On this topic the US has now invested in an Arctic ambassador as they are concerned about Russian ambitions in the Arctic and have talked to Canada about doing more. This is where Canada could have invested in pipelines to get our Oil to our coasts to earn exports and so provide the funds we need to upgrade our armed forces.

Canada is also having issues with the RCMP on incompetence and also sexual harassment and also sexual harassment in the Armed Forces.  Certainly the mass shootings in Nova Scotia and the disappearance of many indigenous women are very concerning with the RCMP looking more and more incompetent.

Europe is having many issues in securing oil and gas and the German chancellor visited Canada to talk about how Canada might help.  The problem is that while Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world the Liberal Government simply won't build pipe lines to transport it to our coasts so it can be exported. This is one point the new Conservative leader has said he'll correct.

I did my two monthly run to the Moravian Corner Store in Moraviatown which is around a 30 minute drive from Chatham along route 2. They offer a wide range of cigarettes at a good price and they also do in my opinion the very best fries in the area.  Ask for "crispy" fries as they are the best with nice crisp outer and nice soft interior. They are at 14787 Sciton Line, tel: 519 692 4598.  When you turn into Moraviatown from route 2 just follow the road past a mall and at the top of the road there is a 30 mph bend and then they are only a few hundred km on the right where there are two gas stations side by side.  They also have the Willow Tree cannabis store as well.

Canada’s annual inflation rate was at 7.6% in July of 2022, easing from the 39-year high of 8.1% hit in the prior month and in line with market estimates. (It further reduced to 7.0% in August.) Transportation costs grew at a much slower pace (14.4% vs 16.8% in June), amid a sharp retreat in gasoline (35.6% vs 54.6%). Also, inflation was lower for shelter (7% vs 7.1%), household operations, furnishings, and equipment (5% vs 5.6%), and clothing and footwear (1.4% vs 2.7%). In the meantime, inflation continued to pick up for food (9.2% vs 8.8%), weighed by groceries (9.9% vs 9.4%), while recreation costs stagnated (at 6.2%). Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose by 6.6% annually. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged 0.1% higher, the slowest rise since December 2021. The UK inflation rate is at 9.9% and the USA is at: 8.3%.

Phone calls by Scammers have been increasing this year.  I now regularly get calls from Amazon asking for authorisation on a purchase.  Calls saying my Social security has been suspended. Visa calls regularly asking me to verify 2 amounts charged to my card and of course the dreaded duct cleaners continue to call.  Other odd calls from other scammers continue to come in.  In fact if someone now calls with an Indian accent then I now just assume they are scammers.

And I note that Visa are helping these people. Like when you apply to Visa to be able to accept their cards for payment you sign a contract which means only you or your company are allowed to accept cards.  But these companies will now let other people use them to transact business that has nothing to with their business. So I once got scammed and when I phoned the company they denied any knowledge of the transaction. When calling to complain to Visa they didn't even bother to take the details just saying there was nothing they could do.  In my view the credit card companies are the real crooks.

It's time that we in Canada take the high road and do something to force Visa and other credit card companies to reimburse those that get scammed and thus as they would lose considerable income they would be forced to put more secure measures in place.

I note for example that my bank now emails me every time an amount is taken out of my account. I'd like to see the credit card companies doing the same.

I noted that in the UK they are looking to pass a law where heavy fines will be imposed on people that do phone scamming and to be frank it's past time that the Federal Government do something on this.  I've read many accounts of people getting listed on the "Do not call" list which means all scam calls are technically illegal.  Problem is that reporting an illegal call gets you nothing.  It is reported that 99% of reports are ignored and if one is actually processed the person might get a $100 fine and that's it.  No wonder scammers simply ignore the do not call list and it's no longer fit for purpose.

This week w/c 18th September I've already had 12 such phone calls and it's only Wednesday.  In my opinion this is a total disgrace and the law needs to be changed so police can take action and real penalties can be imposed that will cause real hurt to these people. The law simply doesn't care and the Political classes don't care and that's worrying. 

My recommendation is to purchase a phone system that can block up to 500 numbers and more if possible.  My phone can block 250 but it's had to be reset twice since buying it.

Atlantic Canada had its worst storm on record this month.  See the video below to watch a report from CBC's The National program...

Canada has now removed pretty well all Covid restrictions but the US still has some for anyone travelling into their country. Did I mention that my Doctor McKinnon doesn't recommend Covid booster shots?  I actually think that's against the law but she did say get it if you wish although she didn't think it would do any good.

It would seem that the War in Ukraine and Inflation has now displaced Covid in the news headlines.

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